Wednesday, August 1, 2012

now to plan for recording with wreckless

I wrote about Wreckless Eric's Kisckstarter campaign here.

The campaign is closed, and Eric and Amy have gotten $12,000 in pledges -- 50% more than they were shooting for. I've been charged my $500, and I now am looking forward to recording with them. I have gotten two emails. The first was a very generic one that was sent to all 292 people who pledged. It simply said that the rewards were being prepared and would be sent out when ready. The second one is more specific to my situation:

hi [Moish]

Thanks for backing us (or whatever the correct terminology is here). We need to work out a time when you can come to the studio and do a track with us.

So what we probably need is a list of likely dates from you plus any sort of demo you might have - though you don't have to have a demo, or even a finished song, just some sort of idea of what you'd like to do. Anything - six lines on the back of an envelope, a snatch of a tune whistled onto a cassette... Or nothing and we'll improvise on the day!

I'm probably not making much sense - we've never done this before - Kickstarter I mean. We've done plenty of recording sessions!

Anyway, let me
know - best thing would be to contact me by email directly - [ wreckless eric's email address ]
I have to write back. I'm not sure what song I would want to record with them. Seems clear they're open to being flexible.  I have three complete songs, any one of which I'd be thrilled to record with them. I guess I'd most love to record "Jackpot" with them, since that's my favorite. But since that's the one with the most-polished demo, it seems that I get the least additional value if one of my purposes is to improve the quality of what I have to send as demos to artists, agents, record companies, etc. On that score, though, I think all three demos are usable. So maybe rerecording one of them is of limited value in those terms.

I've been hoping to finish writing another song -- I have a couple in process -- a chorus and general concept for "Bleed Me a River," as well as a concept and opening verse for something that I am (for now) calling "Missing One." I also have a title and little more for "(Fresh Out of) Give a Damns." But between work and family, I just don't have the time to sit down with the guitar and complete anything.

I am, though, open to working with them to complete one of my fragments, or to write something totally new. As one of Wreckless Eric's fans for more than thirty years, I'd love the chance to write with him. But that then creates new complications. Would they be OK with my registering the copyright in all of our names? Would they be OK with my trying to shop the song around? In the event that I get it recorded, who owns what percentage? 50% for me and 50% for them together? 33 and a third  % for each of us? Something else? Of course the thought of being able to register a copyright in my name and Eric's and Amy's is something quite fantastic for me (note that I am using the word "fantastic" to mean something out of fantasy, rather than simply "great"). And perhaps if I have a song that I cowrote with them there is a greater chance that they would record it on one of their albums, thereby giving me a credit (and a few dollars).

I will probably write back, explaining that I am having a hard time choosing between songs. I have three demos (of varying quality) that I'd like to send. I'd like to go with whichever they find most suitable. Of course, I will note, I also have some partially written material that I'd be happy to work with if any of those strike them. I can also mention the logistical (copyright,ownership, etc.). I think I'll note that my preference is to complete a song with them.

There is another issue to check on: I assumed, though they never specifically said, that I can have Eric take the vocals on our recording. I want to make sure that that's OK -- partly because I love the idea of having a recording of him singing one of my songs, and partly because I am a lousy singer.

 I am also hoping that they know how to go about registering specific songs (or recordings?) with ASCAP so that if by chance something of mine gets recorded and played on air (or, for example, my friend HP Mendoza uses one of my songs in one of his movies), I can get the few dollars of royalties. Given that I won't get much money, it's almost a point of pride just to get a royalty check from ASCAP.

Finally, there's something I want to ask Eric. On the Live Stiffs album (from the Stiff Records package tour from the late '70s, featuring performances by Nick Lowe, Eric, Larry Wallis, Elvis Costello and Ian Dury), before he starts "Reconnez Cherie," he anounces that his guitar doesn't work. After some confusion he plugs it in and says, "Ahh. I forgot to plug me in." I want to know if that was truly him being himself and legitimately not realizing that he wasn't plugged in, or if it was an act that he did at every show.

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